Cameron Gosling's brother speaks on cold water shock
The brother of a County Durham teenager who lost his life to cold water shock has spoken about his death in order to make other young people aware of the condition.
Now Cyle, 12, has addressed fellow year eight students at Parkside Academy in Willington - where Cameron was also a student, on the dangers of jumping into cold water without acclimatising.
He spoke about life without Cameron during an assembly organised by our One Point service as part of Safe Durham Partnership's (SDP) Dying to be Cool campaign, which aims to raise awareness of cold water shock among ten to 16-year-olds.
Cyle told his fellow pupils: "Imagine going out every day and your best friend not being there to laugh, joke and mess around with - that's what it's like for me."
Recalling the day his brother died, he continued: "My mam and dad came and told me Cameron had jumped in the river and hadn't come back up.
"My first reaction was to burst out in tears - to try and take my mind off what was happening in the other room I put some comedy movies on Netflix.
"After what seemed like forever we were told he had been found and I asked my mam and dad if he was alive - they both shook their heads.
"The tears started again, and this time wouldn't stop. I turned all Cam's photos around out of the way, I just couldn't look at them.
"From that day life has been like a rollercoaster, your mood goes up and down.
"Cameron wasn't just my brother, he was my best friend and I will never forget him."
Cyle concluded: "The message my family wants to get out to everyone is 'just stay safe around water, acclimatise your body to the temperature of the water before jumping in, it will take you five minutes and give you a better chance of going home.
"No family should have to go through what we do every day."
The brothers' mum Fiona Gosling, who also spoke during the assembly, said: "As a family, life has never been the same since Cameron left us and it never will be.
"But we are all determined to channel our pain into reducing the chances of other families going through what we have.
"Cyle wanted to play his part by speaking in the assembly and it was really emotional for him, me and everyone who was there when he did."
Dying to be Cool assemblies - featuring personal addresses from Cameron's mum and displays of safety equipment by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service - have been delivered to more than 10,000 schoolchildren by the One Point service since the campaign launched in 2016.
The assemblies were delivered outside the county for the first time this year with the fire and rescue service rolling them out in the Darlington area.
This summer a group of Cameron's friends also appeared in videos produced by us to raise awareness of cold water shock, which have been viewed more than 34,000 times on Facebook alone.
The campaign has contributed to a reduction in water related fatalities and injuries since it was launched, according to SDP figures.
In 2015/16, there were nine near misses, five injuries and two fatalities across County Durham. In 2016/17, following the launch of the campaign, there were just four near misses, two injuries and one fatality.
So far this calendar year, there has been no fatalities in open water in County Durham.
Dying to be Cool has this year achieved national recognition, helping us win an MJ Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Engagement and to reach the final in the integrated communications campaign of the year category, of the UK Public Sector Communications Awards 2017.
The campaign has also seen us shortlisted for another national award with our Team Around the School currently nominated in the early intervention category of the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, our Cabinet member for community safety, said: "We are so very grateful to Cyle.
"Getting up in front of your entire year group and talking is difficult for any 12 year old.
"But to talk to them about losing your brother is incredibly brave and we can only hope that Cyle's words will stay with his classmates when they are around water in the warmer months."
To find out more about cold water shock and the campaign, visit the Dying to be Cool web page.